Researchers of the University of Washington have developed a based iPhone rapid and portable diagnostic system for parallel analysis of several samples of blood for tumor markers, according to Naked Science. This is a full mobile laboratory, which works very quickly and accurately.
Cancer is a kind of tumor that develops from cells of epithelial tissue. Depending on the location and other features of diagnosis of the disease requires the use of various techniques on an outpatient basis, because the necessary equipment (x-ray, biopsy collection) is located in the medical institutions. Existing spectrometers, which are compatible with your smartphone, you can analyze only one sample at a time.
In the new work, the researchers presented the spectrometer, which is capable of simultaneously processing eight samples of biological material. The device is an attachment for iPhone and works by the method of ELISA — this immunological method based on the specific reaction antigen-antibody. In particular, the spectrometer analyzes blood samples for the presence of interleukin-6 (IL-6), which can act as an anti-inflammatory cytokine and stimulates the immune response.
The tests showed that the accuracy of such a diagnosis is 99%. It can be used for prompt analysis of biological material for markers of liver cancer, breast cancer, prostate, lung. According to the researchers, the spectrometer is already used in practice, but so far only compatible with iPhone 5. The next step will be to adapt technology to any smartphone. The authors have filed a patent application.
“The spectrometer will be especially useful in clinics and hospitals with a large number of samples, but do not have laboratories. Also development will be relevant for physicians who practice abroad or in remote areas,” — said co-author Lei Li.